Last week, it was Belvedere.
This week, it’s Reebok.
Both ads portray men in a very negative light. The Belvedere ad portrays a man cheerfully grabbing a woman with a horrific look of fear on her face. The Reebok ad encourages men to “cheat on their girlfriends, not their workout.” Despite both companies quickly pulling them from the market, they were still published and endorsed the product.
Why would companies send the message that it’s okay to rape women? Or that it’s acceptable to cheat on them?
Or are we so numb to normal advertising that agencies now feel they must delve into the shocking underworld of miscreant behaviour to get their brands heard? Isn’t it a mixed message when we decry illicit behaviour by Kobe, Schwarzenegger, Anthony Weiner, Newt Gingrich, and Herman Cain but then an ad agency uses the same situations to sell their product?
When is it okay to use shock and awe advertising? Does advertising such as this encourage “bad” behaviour?